A bill to approve the 9/11 Remembrance Flag to be flown on public property and create criminal penalties for flying unapproved flags on public property was recently pre-filed in the Alabama Legislature.

Senate Bill 4 (SB4), sponsored by State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), is the second bill pre-filed by the senator ahead of the 2024 legislative session.

First and foremost, the bill adds the “9/11 Remembrance Freedom Flag” to the list of approved flags to be flown on public property. Secondarily, the bill makes it a misdemeanor criminal offense to fly any unapproved flag on all public property unless “approved by the entity in control of the property.”

“The Freedom Flag, created as a national symbol of remembrance of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is authorized to be displayed on any publicly owned property or premises,” the bill reads.

Alabama has a list of approved flags suitable for hoisting on public property. Those flags include the U.S. flag, the Alabama State flag, the Girl and Boy Scout’s flag, municipal flags, and “The official flag of any nation or state that preceded the United States or the State of Alabama in controlling any territory currently constituting the State of Alabama.”

SB4 would create criminal penalties for flying a flag, standard or ensign on any public property without first being approved by the controller of the property. Violating the new law would be a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of three months in jail and a $500 fine.

All roads, streets, highways, stadiums, arenas, and athletic facilities are exempt from the criminal provision of the bill.

Allen recently filed another bill requiring education boards to adopt policies mandating a once-weekly broadcasting of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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